The Indian telecom industry is one of the world’s most progressive industries, ranking second largest in the world in terms of wireless connections. The number of telephone subscribers is projected to reach 1.2 billion by 2017, of which 25% will be in the 3G and 4G segment. It is also estimated that there would be nearly 175 million broadband subscribers by 2017.
Growth Fuelling Demand
The entry of new players, opening up of 3G airwaves, rural forays, broadband wireless access and mobile number portability has intensified the talent war in the Indian telecom industry. Given the acute dearth of experienced professionals, instances of poaching have been on a rise in the recent months, with the trend being more prominent in top and mid level positions.
Employers, on the other hand, are going the extra mile to check the brain drain. Apart from the measures like rewarding their loyal employees through incentives, cash bonuses and stock options, some companies are adopting newer measures to develop and retain talent. Companies are working on building talent pools and succession planning within the company by teaming up with educational institutions to ensure that the right people are available to fill the gaps at the right time. Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (MTS) undertakes team surveys regularly to track engagement levels of managers and team leaders with their respective teams. Generally 30-40% of a manager’s total performance bonus in MTS is linked to how well he/she has fared in developing the team’s talent and skills and motivating them.
As the telecom war intensifies, players are scouting for executives in customer services, technical support, advertising, sales and marketing. Shortage of manpower is driving players towards temporary staffing solutions. Some are even outsourcing their non-core functions to take care of their growth plans. Not only is contingent workforce cost-effective, but it is also helping telecom players get hold of skilled professionals with specific skill sets to supplement the existing workforce.